Sights set high after First win

Big spring plans for debut Caulfield winner

FIRST SETTLER winning the Refund Handicap at Caulfield in Australia.
FIRST SETTLER winning the Refund Handicap at Caulfield in Australia. Picture: Racing Photos

Mick Price added another job to his winter to-do list on Saturday, after First Settler launched his career in devastating style at Caulfield.

The Cranbourne trainer and his partner Michael Kent Jnr will now prioritise working out how best to give the high-priced colt his best shot at establishing himself as one of Australia's top sprinting colts in spring.

The son of Written Tycoon, who was a $750,000 yearling, proved himself a class above winter grade with victory in the 1000-metre juvenile event that kicked off a gloomy Caulfield card.

"You get these nice colts and you've got to try and win the right races, don't you?" Price said.

"I don't want to go too deep on him (this preparation) and I need to put a circle around some nice races in the spring."

The $2 million Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day shapes as the race Price will be working towards.

Price had hoped First Settler would have seen some feature-race action before now but he missed out on making his debut last spring when a late scratching from the Group 3 Debutant Stakes at Caulfield after playing up at the start.

He suffered a minor knee injury later, which delayed his debut, but showed on Saturday that will not hold him back.

The $4.40 chance travelled three-wide throughout but still surged away from his rivals over the final 200m to defeat Landmark ($14) by 2-1/4 lengths with Husk ($4.20) 1-3/4 lengths back third.

Blue Renegade, the heavily backed $2.05 favourite, led but was under pressure early in the straight and weakened to finished fifth, almost 4-1/2 lengths from First Settler.

Michael Dee was aboard for the win and endorsed the colt being set for better races.

"He travelled strongly around the corner, straightened up still on the bridle and he put them away quite comfortably," Dee said.

"If he improved from here, which I think he can, and on a firmer surface, he'll probably be even more explosive."